Toronto - Lionsgate is on a buying spree. The company known most recently for its “Hunger Game” franchise has scooped up four new titles from the Toronto International Film Festival in the last 24 hours. In conjunction with its partner, Roadside Attractions, the studio has purchased Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” the sex-addiction comedy “Thanks for Sharing,” “Imogene,” starring Kristen Wiig and Sarah Polley’s documentary “The Stories We Tell.”
All four films generated interest from a variety of buyers, but Lionsgate appears to be the most aggressive at this year’s confab.
Whedon’s modern take on one of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays was a 12-day black-and-white project filmed in his house. His cast features both Whedon loyalists like Clark Gregg and Nathan Fillion and some newcomers, and it charmed audiences attending the 11-day event.
The deal marks a repairing of Whedon and Lionsgate who previously worked together on “Cabin in the Woods,” which Whedon wrote and produced.
“They are exactly the mad fools we want to be partying--I mean working--with,” said Whedon of the company.
The news came just hours after the company sealed a deal with Olympus Pictures for the U.S. rights to “Thanks for Sharing,” the sex-addiction comedy starring Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins and Josh Gad. The film marks the directorial debut of Stuart Blumberg, screenwriter behind “The Kids Are All Right.”
The movie, which tracks the journey of three addicts at various stages of recovery, is likely to be released next summer, sparking a renewed conversation on the validity of sex addiction. Yet according to star Ruffalo, the themes addressed in the movie relate to any addiction, whether its alcohol, drugs or sex. And the movie, which depicts the 12-step programs closely, could be one of those films a lot of people find relatable.
“You either are an addict or you love one,” quipped the actor.
The two purchases come on the heels of the company’s other recent buys: the comedy “Imogene,” which in addition to starring Wiig features off-beat performances from Annette Bening and Matt Dillon. The film marks the first feature from Trudie Styler (Sting’s wife) and Celine Rattray’s new company, Maven Pictures. Lionsgate grabbed Polley’s documentary, “Stories We Tell,” earlier Monday, marking the second significant buy of the festival after Focus Features purchased the Ryan Gosling-starrer “The Place Beyond the Pines.” The movie traces the revelation of a family secret that had been buried with her mother when Polley, an actress and filmmaker, was 11.